OPENING PRAYER & SINGING
We opened up with prayer, then sang hymn #179, 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, together
MEMORIZATION REVIEW, RECITATION, AND DISCUSSION
We spent 3 minutes to "refresh" on our memorization of James 3:1-12, then recited the passage together
Generally, the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart
James here is dealing with the symptom of what happens in the mouth
in vv9-12, James points out how unnatural and sinful it is for believers to speak curses of other men from our mouths (as all men are made in the likeness of God!)
The tongue has so much power! It can really change the direction of your life.
The next passage was James 3:13-18. One note on verse 17: "unwavering", translated from ἀδιάκριτος (adiakritos) in the Greek is better translated as "impartial"
Question: what does demonic mean in v15? Demonic here is satanic, from satan and his demons - we ought to strongly warn our children about bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, as it is demonic! Another note about demonic - we still need to recognize that the origin of sin, the origin of the various temptations in our lives are our own desires (lusts) so we are still culpable.
While the world's Selfish ambition has yielded results, they're done in a way that does not please God
Question: is there a specific aspect of "gentle" being focused on in V.17? ἐπιεικής (epieikes) in the Greek points to sweet reasonableness.
In V.18, James is using the illustration to focus on fruit - plant the fruit, and it bears more fruit. The source, the thing to plant, is peace
This passage sets us up for what we're going to hear in chapter 4….
After that we moved on to James 4:1-5
What's inside of me is God's - we need to recognize that and give to God what is His
Vv1-2 points back to what James 1:13-15 talks about lust, and lust conceived
V.3, this is a great reminder for us to think about your motives when we pray to God. We need to actively align our pleasures with what pleases God!
V.4, when James is talking about "friendship with the world", he’s not talking about the people of the world (we should love and interact with unbelievers), but he’s is talking about desires of the world (being chummy with the things that worldly people are interested in). Christ was very specific to ask God the father not to take believers out of the world (John 17:15), and also gave us commandments like, “…let your light shine before men…” (Matt 5:16)
The next passage was James 4:6-10
Verse 7 reminds us that we need to always be in the practice of submitting our spirit to God, and recognize that God's way overrides your way. We can always go to God, and confess our chumminess with the world, and submit our lives/our way to God. But we truly, really have to be willing.
Verse 9 has roots in the old testament idea of mourning/grieving; while there is no sackcloth and ashes here, the idea is that we need to truly grieve over your sin (unlike the world which embraces or brushes over sin).